How the 2019 UK elections will affect the LGBTQ community
The Conservative Party winning a decisive victory in the 2019 UK elections with a large majority has raised concerns by our LGBTQ cousins across the pond: what does it mean for them?
On one hand, the majority party ran on a platform that didn’t concern themselves much over UK’s LGBTQ community.
On the other hand, the UK Parliament still has the most number of out LGBTQ legislators in the world.
2019 UK elections: The results
The Conservative Party now has a total of 365 MPs to attain the majority in parliament.
This also ensures that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be at the Number 10 Downing Street for the next five years.
The Conservative Party beat their main rivals, the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn, down to just 203 seats.
Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party (SNP) claimed 48 of Scotland’s 59 seats even as the Liberal Democrats only got 11 seats.
There were also a number of anti-LGBTQ candidates that were elected into office with the Conservative Party, like Sally-Ann Hart in Hastings and Rye.
However, Jo Swinson, an outspoken advocate of trans right, lost her seat in the parliament.
Conservatives and the LGBTQ community
The Conservative Party focused their platform on a hard Brexit from the European Union, as well as a tough approach to crime. However, they didn’t focus much on LGBTQ rights.
In fact, in their manifesto, the Conservatives mentioned LGBTQ rights only three times.
That is, the Conservative government would help teachers take on homophobic bullying, tackle LGBTQ hate crimes, and form “an international LGBTQ conference.”
Johnson had earlier told PinkNews in a Q&A that they are “committed to the LGBT+ Action Plan, including ending the practice of gay conversion therapy.”
They also promised to implement reforms to the Gender Recognition Act but “in due course.”
What the 2019 UK elections mean
Beth Desmond, writing for Prospect Magazine, warned that the UK elections “may turn out to be the worst for LGBT rights in nearly thirty years.”
“The Conservatives have the weakest manifesto policies on LGBT issues of the three major parties,” she pointed out.
Desmond noted that the returning Prime Minister compared marriage to marrying a dog and attacked “”Labour’s appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools.”
However, Desmond pointed out that there are other MPs who are willing to stand up for trans people, like Labour Party members Angela Rayner and Dawn Butler, among others.
LGBTQ winners in the 2019 UK elections
Before the election, the UK parliament had the highest number of out LGBTQ lawmakers in the world with 45.
According to PinkNews, there are ten new out MPs that were elected: seven of them from the Conservative Party and three from the SNP.
Presently, there are now 20 MPs from the Conservative Party, 15 from the Labour Party, and 10 from the SNP for a total of 45 MPs who identify as LGBTQ.
Desmond was hopeful, saying that “progressives will have the opportunity to take the fight to Boris Johnson again, with a new leader and radical policies to give Britain a properly pro-LGBT government once more.”